Squirrels
Eastern Gray Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, and Southern Flying Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis

Origin: Native to the eastern half of North America, and the Midwest. They have been widely introduced to certain places around the world such as Europe.

Lifespan: One to two years in the wild, six years on average as an adult

Size: Adult weight varies from 400-600 grams.

Diet:

  • They eat a variety of foods.

  • Tree bark, tree buds, berries, many seeds including acorn, walnut,  other kinds nuts, and some types of Fungi.

  • They also have been known to eat insects, frogs, small rodents, small birds, and bird eggs.

Activity: Crepuscular

Reproduction:

  • Breeds twice per year.

  • Breeding December thru February, and  May through June.

  • Gestation period is 44 days.

  • The young are born hairless, blind, and deaf. Newborns typically weigh 13-18 grams. 

  • Only one in four squirrel kits survives to one year of age

  • They wean at 10 weeks and reach full body mass by 8-9 months.

  • Gray squirrels tend to be very territorial.

 

Extra Facts:

  • As in most mammals, communication among Eastern Gray Squirrels involves vocalization and posturing.

  • Relatives will raise orphaned young.

  • Squirrel meat was common in earlier days, and often still eaten currently. Doctors, however, warn against eating the brains due to the risk they may be carrying Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. CJD is a transmissible fatal degenerative brain disease.

  • They are highly intelligent.

  • Gray Squirrels are very secretive and deceptive when it comes to hiding their food cache. Often times, they will only pretend to hide food if they suspect they are being watched. They also will go as far as digging up their hidden snacks and rebury them several times.

  • Tim Burton used live, trained squirrels in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It took 10 months to train and film the animals in action.

  • Famous painter Bob Ross had one as a pet, named Peapod.

 

 

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